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Empower Us! From Crisis to Strategic Harmony

Watch the Interview Live HERE

Empower Us! From Crisis to Strategic Harmony
with Dr. Ira Kaufman

Ira Kaufman, Ph.D. is a Transformation Strategist, CEO, Social Entrepreneur, and Educator. Ira’s 45 years of management experience spans three worlds: business, nonprofit, and education. He challenges leaders, entrepreneurs, and students to reflect on their assumptions and resistances to discover new sustainable solutions and fuel purposeful action. His company, Entwine Digital, works with mid-size organizations and multinationals to design values-based Transformation strategies and train World-Class Leaders. His Transformation Academy provides a framework for managing continuous change and developing transformative business models. As a co-founder of the Global Transformation Corps, he redirects entrepreneurship to a stake- holder-centric model with sustainable impacts. Drawing upon the strengths of Rising Voices of the Future, he created the Catalyzer—a leader that transforms Love of Purpose into a Power that catalyzes the impact of organizations and businesses. At the University of Lynchburg College of Business, he designed and implemented the Transformative Leadership Lab and Transformative Leadership in the Digital Age curricula. He co-authored Digital Marketing with Purpose (now in 2nd edition). 

More about Dr. Kaufman’s work at https://empowerus.world

Dr. Kaufman’s Transformation Declaration

 

Read the Interview

Hugh: Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. We are almost in our seventh year of doing interviews with really amazing people with great stories to tell. I like the quote from British composer/conductor Ralph Vaughan Williams who said, “Music did not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” We have people with varying knowledge and backgrounds and great wisdom to share. Today is no exception. We have Dr. Ira Kaufman from Lynchburg, Virginia with me. Ira, welcome. Give people a sense of who you are with some background about yourself.

Ira Kaufman: Thank you, Hugh. I am appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to share an hour with you and your colleagues. My background goes back about five decades. I was attending Northwestern University, the Kellogg School, studying with who is now the father of modern marketing, Dr. Philip Kotler, who published about 60 books on marketing and has ventured into understanding about what’s good for the common good and challenging traditional capitalism. I worked with him 50 years ago in looking at how we can translate business principles and concepts and techniques into a world which needed some change. We wrote a book Creating Social Change, which applied business and marketing techniques to the social sector.

I did my Ph. D, the first Ph. D in what’s called social marketing, applying marketing concepts to the nonprofit sector and the National Safety Council. Then I began a journey of living in England, traveling to 40 countries around the world, working for Legacy International and with its founder. I was inspired by his values-driven leadership approach and the work that I worked on with him and the team for 20 years. I tried to understand how to engage young professionals to implement this values-driven approach to create change in the world.

I evolved in that area and began looking at some of the current technologies and how technology was affecting the world. I wrote a book on digital marketing with values, the first book on digital marketing. It was important because it was integrating strategy, tactics, and values through a different point of view. A common thread of values has been embedded in who I am and what I work on.

As the book grew and I got to travel to about 45 countries to talk about digital transformation of leadership, I met a colleague of mine five years ago in Croatia, Velimir Srića. Velimir was a professor at Zagreb University, one of the oldest universities in Europe. Velimir is a specialist in leadership and innovation. A very Renaissance man, working in politics, environment, and business consulting. We began with the challenge of “Why is this world broken?” We had a deep-seated question: What is fractured in the world with all of the money and materials we have? Why is there iso much discord and problems and crises growing?

We devoted the next year or so to begin looking at the essential foundation of it. Going back to my work at Legacy and his work in leadership, we began looking at the disintegration of values as something that is essential and core to where the problems were. Most people weren’t looking at that. They talked a lot. They proclaimed a lot of things on their boardroom walls as you know. They talked about things in brochures like caring and loving. The reality is, they weren’t living them. Therefore, we have all these crises. That is the undergirding. It is an integration of business and marketing with a care and concern for the globe and an understanding that a values-driven approach is integral to creating a sustainable future. There is a convergence.

Hugh: What was the first book you wrote?

Ira: It was called Creating Social Change. It is out of print. It’s 50 years old.

Hugh: A lot of words in there. Your latest book comes out in the next day or two in October 2020. It’s called Empower Us! You’re connected with the University of Lynchburg as an adjunct professor.

Ira: I taught at the University of Lynchburg for about six years in the school of business. I taught leadership and digital marketing and transformation. How do businesses have to deal with the question of transformation?

Hugh: Are you familiar with Transforming Leadership by James MacGregor Burns?

Ira: No, I’m not.

Hugh: That is one of the roots of what I teach: transformational leadership. He wanted to transform our political system. I don’t think enough people bought the book. We want to make sure people purchase Empower Us!, which they can learn more about at EmpowerUs.World.

Ira, we have a bunch of people who listen to this podcast who have a lot of good ideas. The ratio is that 3/100 actually do something about them. I’m sure half or less think about writing a book but actually do it. Talk about your motivation. Writing a book like this is hard work. What is your motivation to begin and complete it?

Ira: That’s a really important question. It’s not about the book; it’s about the journey to make a significant change in the world and to really allow what’s within all of us, this passion for goodness, for sustainability, for change for the positive, and for leaving a good legacy behind to our future. I have a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old. They are great potential leaders. How do we give them what’s necessary? It’s about giving back, too.

I have been grateful and fortunate in my work over the years to understand this component called values is really more an item of discussion than an item of action. Velimir and I did a look at all the world religions and looked at what was the essential ingredients and attributes of each religion? What were common in them? We looked at values and attributes of a good person and people who really want to be caring and versatile and understanding and compassionate. We distilled those into some values. We related these values to performance and organizations and how organizations can transform.

We came up with four values: trust, empathy, sustainability, and transparency. They are related to each other and what is happening in the world right now. We call those TEST values. If you test these values in yourself and in organizations, you will get a good understanding on your accountability in yourself how well you’re doing. That was inspiring. We realized that we needed to have some tools which people could understand in transformation.

The second tool we looked at is we looked at our goal. Our goal was to create harmony in the world. Harmony is peace and understanding. I am a 1960s kid where we all love love and peace and flower children. We realized that harmony was a really good word. Velimir was into that culture. We realized in the ‘60s we had a lot of good ideas. We weren’t translating them into impact, to something that would create the kind of change we feel is necessary and essential to fix this broken world.

We decided to juxtapose two words: strategy and harmony. You need strategy in terms of technology and human-centered business practices with values to create the kind of harmony we’re in. We merged those two together and created a road map for creating strategic harmony. That is what drove us: understanding that values are at the core and how you have to translate those with strategies to empower people who are frustrated with the world, who care but don’t know what to do, who are in centers of power but aren’t courageous enough or haven’t taken the next step to figure out there is enough value to utilize strategically throughout their organizations and the impact they are creating. That is the motivation.

Hugh: Thank you. When you’re writing a book, do you envision a person that you’re writing to?

Ira: Yeah. I’m a marketing guy. The first question is: Who is the target market? The target market is you, is us, the people who want a world which is more caring, more loving, more understanding, sustainable. That will allow us to carry forth those qualities. There are so many changemakers, human-centered businesspeople, heads of nonprofits who have created organizations to change the world. We can look at the entire world of spiritual leaders. We can look at students who are now screaming.

I will tell you the people we are really looking at are who we call the rising voices. The rising voices are the next generation, Gen Z and young millennials, the women of the world (who are phenomenal voices with powerful qualities different than men), and the marginalized, the people of color, immigrants, those of diverse genders. These people are screaming. They want to be heard. For the most part, the leaders aren’t listening. Or they are placating them. They want a seat at the table. They don’t just want to be influencers; they want to reinvent a world which can be positive and grow at a sustainable rate. Those are the people I look at: progressive leaders and rising voices.

Hugh: You talk about how values are proclaimed on boardroom walls and websites but not being lived and practiced in their organizations. The gap in our living those values is what was broken. How did you address that gap specifically? Could you also talk more about your co-author?

Ira: Velimir Srića is a Renaissance person. He served in the government of Croatia as a minister of foreign affairs. He has written about 60 books on leadership and innovation, both in Croatian and English. He has a Ph. D from Columbia, taught at UCLA, traveled to 40-50 countries around the world, and is a great storyteller. He has a great passion for loving and involving people and businesses. He does a lot of consultations in Europe with executives. That is a background on Velimir. That is where we harmonize together: on how to bring this road map into a reality and let it manifest in a real way.

In terms of how we look at these values and address them, we dove into a study, which is a really important study by the Edelman Group called “The Trust Barometer.” It was done over 20 years by a public relations group in D.C. They study 12 markets around the world—executives, leaders, all walks of life—and look at the level of trust in four sectors. Trust is a really big word in our society right now, in our world. The trust barometer looks at the level of trust in nonprofits, businesses, media, and education. They found that of these four sectors, the sector which was most important was business. They found in the last five years, 65% of the people surveyed from all over the world believed trust was prominent in those four sectors. In the last year, it’s gone down to less than 50%. In those four sectors, there is more distrust than trust. That’s a big statement.

How are we going to counterveil that? This crisis in trust, which is one of the TEST values. We looked at where the forces of trust are rooted: power and love. We look at power. Power is, in this Western world, derived from fame, money, position, and control of information. Of course, a powerful leader has to fulfill their own self-interest. That leads to greed and corruption, which leads to fulfilling the needs of the stakeholder.

That whole doctrine was initiated 50 years ago by Professor Milton Friedman of Harvard University. You shake your head because you know it. Professor Friedman changed the world. The result of what happened was he said the social responsibility of business is to increase profits. That is a major dictum. Business schools around the world have followed that dictum. Corporate boards have lived that questionable narrative. We have created five pandemics around the world: COVID, economic struggles, misinformation, people are fearful and feel isolated, and we have the environmental climate crisis. We have five major crises happening around the world. Leaders should read this book because they have no solutions, and you know that.

Then we looked at where the solutions lie. They lie in love. The first thing we have in our heart is love. We are attracted to other people. We want to love a person or family. Love has been materialized. We want to love objects. We want to love the sexuality of somebody. Women and men have been objectified in the world around love. But what is the real essence of love? Love is love of us, love of humanity, love of understanding who we are, love of the common good.

We looked at love as a transformative power. It has to be focused on the love of purpose and the love of values. How can we implement those? That creates a new set of power. We have a business model around translating values as a source of power in transforming businesses, society, and the level of adoption in the world around different ideas.

Hugh: You’re getting revved up like some of the Black Pentecostal preachers I’ve had as guests here. You need another drink of water here.

Ira: When you deal for five years with something, you realize you have to get passionate about your change.

Hugh: I think you believe what you’re saying. You can probably trace some of this greed back to the competitive capitalists of Rockefeller, Wanamaker, Rothschild, those buddies, and back to Ben Rhodes and his work in South Africa. It stems from sin is a corporate thing, not an individual thing. We have responsible corporations, but they are few and far between.

The pivot here, Ira, the movement I’m championing is for those of us who are not in the for-profit world but are running a for-purpose busines, and how we need to be active in influencing those people in business to look at the triple bottom line: people, planet, then profit. There is a triad there that is more responsible. We are talking to people who don’t need to get pushed around anymore, people who are community leaders working in a 501 something, 3, 6, 10, and we are actually doing philanthropy, which is the love of humankind. Philanthropy in its true form is not just money; it’s time, talent, and money. It’s the whole person. Nonprofits and religious institutions and educational institutions are in fact businesses. Learning to run them as businesses without focusing on the corporate greed. We get lost in the big lie of “nonprofit.” There is an opposite dynamic that is just as destructive as the greed side. We are nonprofit leaders in the social benefit sector. Where can we learn and step up and be influencers?

Ira: You touched on a special feeling I have. I was the executive director of Legacy International for 20 years. I am extremely familiar with this mentality. I walked around the streets of New York and Cairo and London and other cities asking for money and support of good work. The model is backwards. I think that what is important in the world is to be able to set out who you are as a very clear brand. Businesses spend billions of dollars on branding. All that is is telling your why in a way which is authentic, genuine, and clear. What it does is it speaks to the needs of other people.

One of the really progressive business leaders in the world, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Sales Force, he went to India to discover his spiritual roots, came back, and created the 17th largest Fortune 500 company that is values-based and human-centered. The important thing in his company is to discover how values create values, he said. J. Rash wrote the book The Value of Values. I think we really have to understand how we empower these values as part of our brand. That is what is distinguishing. That’s what these businesspeople need. They need to see the value and benefit for them.

How do they communicate with Gen Z, these rising voices? They don’t know how to do that because they don’t have the tools. They still think as leaders who want to support the new normal, which is the status quo. We say that the old form of leadership has to be replaced by what we call catalyzers, who have their eye on one thing: transformation and change. If you look at every entrepreneur right now, they are laser-focused on the future and how to use emerging technologies to change the world. I believe that nonprofits have to be laser-focused on providing value for their projects or programs and how it will affect their community, the world, and their business.

I would suggest you might want to add a fourth P to the quadruple bottom line: planet, profit, people, but I would add prosperity. What most nonprofits are doing is adding to the prosperity of the community. They are helping young people with food security issues, conflict resolution. They are dealing with empowering communities of diverse backgrounds, people of color and of different nationalities and immigrant statuses.

The goal to me of a nonprofit has to be aligned with laser-focused on how they create value for their target market. The target market: particularly who will support them? Is it the State Department or the World Bank? You need to speak to them. Is it a corporation? You need to learn how to speak to them. You need to present it in ways they can relate to and will hang out on. You just can’t send it out in the ether.

Creating a blog or statement of who you are, not just preaching to those who love you, but preaching to those who need you and preaching to those who can make a change. You have to figure it out. I spent hours when I was trying to get people to write my foreword for my book researching who they are, what they talked about, what is important to them, how I can connect to them. It is a study. It is real work. It takes that kind of targeting because that is what businesses do. They pay thousands of dollars to ad agencies to do that.

Nonprofits are very involved in thinking about how they can change the world, but they need to attract the support needed to change the world. So many nonprofit executive directors are fundraisers. I didn’t do much programmatic work; I did fundraising. It was all thinking about how I could get money instead of attracting money. I was asking for money instead of giving them reasons to donate. They really have to think about and reinvent nonprofits to deliver purpose and value to those people who they want to affect.

Hugh: I am all fired up. I am ready to go to work and shut off the computer. Spot on. Amen. I don’t see the mandate for business as any different. We are in a for-purpose or for-profit business, but there needs to be an alliance between the two to embrace what you just spoke about. We attract revenue because we provide value. I don’t care what side you’re on. We need to have extra revenue on both sides to invest in people to improve our systems, to do some marketing. Some of the fundamental things you mentioned are sound business principles. You have to have a clear brand image, a brand promise. It’s not just a logo. What do people say about you when you’re not there? That needs to be spot on. We need to be able to communicate the impact of our work. 20 years, wow. We will hear from Mr. Rash shortly.

*Sponsored by SynerVision’s community for community builders* *Sponsored by EZCard*

We are opening our community again with partnerships with businesses and community leaders. Pursuing this harmony thing, being a musical conductor, I know a little bit about harmony. Orchestras don’t look alike or sound alike. They have different personalities and speak different languages. But we make this magnificent sound in harmony in working together. Explore that harmony more. What I’m hearing you say is we have inherited broken systems and learned things that aren’t the way they ought to be. How do we take active steps in creating this harmony? You start where you live, and you influence others to influence others. What is the starting point?

Ira: The starting point is a mutual purpose. We have to agree upon purpose for our why. I think in many cases, we have to stop competing with each other and really start collaborating with each other. There is a terminology in the organizational field called radical collaboration. We have to go beyond our “organizational egos,” what we want. We have to be more us-centered than self-centered, even for a nonprofit.

To me, the future of the world is based upon collaboration. There is enough creativity, resources, passion, and understanding in this world to get us on the right track. One of the calls to action is to create collaboration between progressive leaders, both nonprofit and for-profit, those people who really understand the vision and the need for sustainability and are committed to it. They have to work with these rising voices—the women, the marginalized, the young—who really have the passion to work together. They can’t just placate them and say, “We hear what you have to say.” They have to be given a seat at the table. They have to co-create the future together. These are nice words, but they have to be implemented because it’s very nice for leaders of nonprofits and for-profits to tell the younger generation what they should be doing.

What are they inheriting? It’s a horror. What is my 18-year-old inheriting? It’s unbelievable. Huge student debt. They don’t even know what the world tomorrow will look like in terms of ecology. Racial disparities and inequities around the world. People earning billions of dollars in a pandemic, and there is no relief in the United States for the people in need. Look at the screaming of surges of the pandemic in Europe and what will be happening in our country in the next month as it gets colder. We don’t have solutions to this. It’s all about collaboration and trusting each other and finding ways to find common value among us. That’s where we have to start. People have an open heart to these kinds of things. You have to find where that point of potential collaboration is. It’s around values. It’s around things people care about. It’s about love of humanity, community, the United States, Lynchburg, the legacy for our future people. If we start on that, we can go. If we start on something partisan or what we want, we won’t reach our goals.

Hugh: It’s up to all of us, Ira. We have people who call big, lofty, hairy goals. But this is intangible if we all do it and we learn to talk to each other and with each other, not at each other. We have come into a world where we are just yelling at each other because we disagree with each other. I have often found that between two points of disagreement, there is sometimes an element of truth that if people talk enough, they found something new.

One client I had did competitions of choirs. They couldn’t call it the Olympics, but they found the World Choir Games. There were 400-450 choirs from 100 countries coming to compete in 28 categories until it came to America, which I enabled to happen. We also had women and men barbershop, so I made it 30, both in the classical and folk genres. It was amazing to me that people who had nothing in common, who in the real world had leaders fighting one another came together and had world peace. We came together with the excellence of our craft of music. Even though they were competing, they were cheering each other on. This wasn’t a goal of the World Choir Games; the goal was to promote excellence in music. I was going to be a musicologist, but I was saved. I was drafted and had time to think about it. I knew a lot about music, but I heard stuff I didn’t believe existed. For Americans, there is an education for all of us to learn about other people. Would you entertain some questions from our guests?

Ira: Of course.

Hugh: Mr. Rash, why don’t you go first?

J.E. Rash: I paid him. It’s a cost to get my name mentioned these days. What I can comment on is I have been blessed to be part of this process of Ira’s work for 40 years. I’m so grateful and proud of him for absorbing so much of what we have done together and putting it into this wonderful book. I’ve had the honor of writing a piece in there.

Going back to the core values, which is the basis of Legacy International and what Ira has been discussing with us today. I’d like him to take a moment to step back. There is something we have been talking about, which is what it means to transform the individual, to bring the individual to a point where they can see what he’s presenting and hear the methodologies and the means to transform things. We have been talking about transforming individuals. Ira, can you talk about that for a minute? The value of listening and how to transform the individuals themselves?

Ira: To me, in the book, we present a two-stage transformation process. One is the transformation of the individual. One is taking that transformation externally to the organization, to the operations and impact and the business model. We spend a lot of time looking at that internal transformation. It needs to begin with self-reflection of the self, of the organization, and what your policy is and how you are carrying that out in your externalities, such as your branding and messaging.

When we look at that self-reflection process, which has been undergirded by my personal study and my work at Legacy, it is very important not only to reflect, but the reflection has to include an element of accounting for yourself. Accounting for who you are, what you proclaim, and what you act on. There is a gap between what we say: We are going to be trusting of another person but control the information. We will be forgiving someone else and retaliating against them. We are going to be generous, and we take more than we give. We have to look at the gap between what we say we are and what we are.

At the same level, there is also the internal level of the organization. The organization has to look at what they proclaim to do and what they are actually doing. They say they are dealing with sustainability issues, but look at how they produce those products and the ingredients in the products. Are they thinking in a circular way or a self-interest way?

Then we have to look at from an internal point of view, if we are thinking about the self as an individual, or are we thinking about the greater humanity? Where is our intention? Intention creates action and your beliefs. We have found that we all live with so many myths. It was the myth of Milton Friedman which has changed the world and created the crisis we are in. I have a Ph. D in business management. It has been structured on one thing: self-interest. Not human interest, not who I am as an individual, not about what I care and love and my purpose in life. It begins with self. It begins with self-reflection. Look in the personal mirror, the organizational mirror, and the mirror which we project the direction of our organization. That is core. You can’t do anything before you change yourself. Every spiritual test says you cannot change your community, the world until you change yourself. We begin with the beginning, which is intention, values, and our beliefs. Confront our myths.

Then we translate to that to a business model, how we do our operations, what kind of impact we have. The most important part of this is we must be harmonious in terms of what is inside us and what we live outside of us. That gap is what creates the crisis.

Hugh: Ira, in 32 years of working with leaders, I am surprised at how few leaders can articulate core values for their organization or for themselves. Therefore, they can’t check on the alignment. Are you in alignment with the corporate values and your personal values? It’s appalling to think that people don’t think that way. What you just articulated about transforming self, you’ll be happy to know that is the core of what we teach in leadership at SynerVision. The work of Berns and Bass who created transformational leadership is about the culture of high performing people focused on a common vision, which is value-driven. The work of Murray Bowen, he is a psychologist, he said you can’t change anybody but yourself, and other people respond to you. You echo those really well-established methodologies. It’s what we have to do.

I want to invite another author, Bob Hopkins, who discusses philanthropy. Bob, do you have a question?

Bob Hopkins: I’ve enjoyed hearing what you have to say. I’m listening right now to the hearings of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court, and what they need of course in our House of Representatives and Senate is strategic harmony. Like you said just a few minutes ago about your child, what do you tell your 18-year-old? What should I tell my students? I teach college; my students are 15-19. I’m sure they’re scratching their heads thinking who, what, when, where, why? What is the transformational process? What am I going to do?

Hugh had an event not too long ago where one of his speakers talked about transformation. Those of us who end up on the other side have hope and are willing to go through this process. Those who don’t will be left behind.

Hugh: That was the Black Pentecostal preacher I talked about, Kevin Williams, who is a high-level influencer. He quoted Paul, “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

Bob: Right. I teach speech and communications. I am just starting my online class this week, two or three of them. I feel like my whole semester has been talking to these students about hope in communication. They hear so much if you listen to television. I want to turn them off, but they learn about history by listening to Amy Klobuchar questioning Barrett and what kind of Justice she is going to be. Our young people have to be involved in political processes as well.

The governor of Guanajuato, Mexico, where I am going this week, said to me, “Bob, we don’t have the culture of giving. We don’t have the culture of love of humanity. We just do it. Nobody teaches us this. We just do it.” Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if we taught someone to do this and amplify it over again? That’s why I work with young people. I am glad you are, too. I’d love to meet and talk some more.

Ira: I look forward to that opportunity. Like I said, I have been inculcated for 40 years of my life with Legacy International, which has devoted their purpose to transforming emerging leaders into young people in their lives who could change and sustain the world. What I really try to do, Bob, with young people when I taught at university is not to talk about words so much, but to talk about actions. They really value authenticity. They value genuine communication.

In the first chapter of the book, I talk about how my kids took me to see Black Panther and Wonder Woman to introduce me to those superheroes. They are so important to young people. Look at how much money those movies made. They have another message in there. You have to speak to people in the language they understand. They understand superheroes. Wonder Woman discovered her power because she submitted to love, which wasn’t just her skillset. Black Panther, same thing. He submitted to a new understanding about the power that they had and how they could use it to benefit society instead of take over the world.

We need to communicate with what’s important to them. We have to discount what the current leadership is doing. They are not leaders. They are following money and their own ways based upon myths. One myth we dealt with in the book is if you lie often enough, people believe you, and it becomes acceptable. Or businesses were created to make money for their stakeholders. That is what people go into business for. Such as entrepreneurs. We tried to create the global transformation core to say that’s not true. They shouldn’t be doing that. They should be going into ventures which will change the world and make them profit but also impact their communities. It has to be mutual. It has to be another set of things we are speaking to.

One thing we have done is understand when we look at values and beliefs, it all translates to our mindset. In an old world, we thought about the set mind. We have to have a flexible or adaptive mindset. We call it a catalytic mindset because I believe it has to go beyond the typical transformation.

I have a problem with the world of transformation. When I was at the University of Lynchburg, I set up with the dean the Institute for Transformative Leadership. We did some work for a year and a half to two years with both for-profit and nonprofit leaders. One day, I Googled this phrase “transformative leadership” and saw Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Putin. They are transformational. Putin is transforming the world. I had to confront that.

Young people see the discrepancy between what leaders are, who are not leading the way they want to be led. 60-70% of the younger generation who are voting do not believe in Democrats or Republicans. They believe in being something else, something that will change and create a sustainable world. They will vote for the lesser of two evils, but they are not passionately behind them. They are passionate about transformation or change.

We have to talk to that core in them. That’s what they value. You have to speak authentically to them. That is where I come from. It’s about authentically speaking to them about what they care about. They care about transformation and change. They want the tools. The tools are embedded in emerging technologies; human-centered business practices, which are not the old business practices and impact of it; and empowering their values, giving power to their values and translating those into enterprises and projects which will be fulfilling.

Hugh: Thank you. Bob always has good simulating questions. Ira, we’re down to our last few minutes here. Why did you come up with the title of your new book? What is a critical takeaway for the reader?

Ira: The title of the book was a two- to three-year evolution. We had 15 titles. “Shed our Broken World: How Do We Fix It?” “How do we use values to change the world?” It evolved to we realized that the book was not about me or what we wanted to do. It was about what we could do. The world had changed in the three to four years we wrote it because of the pandemic and the other crises we were facing. We are getting more interconnected. This book delivered a message of connectivity, interdependence, and collaboration.

We looked at the thing we wanted to deal with, which is value. How can we provide more value? We want to empower the values. Empowering us is empowering these values. In doing that, we will move from where we are now, this new normal of total crisis, to a new concept called strategic harmony, which blends values and technologies and human-centered business practices. That is where the root of the change in the title came from. It was about trying to put power in each human being to be an agent of change and transformation. As a result, we looked at the entire book and said we wanted a statement that encapsulated who we were. I’ll read it because I think it’s a good closing. The importance of it is the call to action.

We call it the transformation declaration [See below for the full declaration]. Thank you.

Hugh: Ira, thank you for your wisdom today.

 

Transformation Declaration
Download the PDF
EmPower Us- Transformation Declaration 10-16-20 

The New Normal has become politics without principles, business without morality, science without humanity, technology without ethics, and knowledge without character. 

We are surrounded with inequality and mistrust for our leaders and institutions. We have become tribal in our many battles for personal gain. Our governing values are compromised by money, corruption, and greed. 

If you are upset, dissatisfied with the world as is, we challenge you to see the world as it could be and join us to transform it. 

WE PROPOSE: Strategic Harmony bridging the heart and the mind, values and emerging technologies, generating the sustainable future that serves all. 

WE THINK US:
Where Us replaces Me
Where TEST Values (Trust, Empathy, Sustainability, Transparency) are accountable and the gold standard
Where Love amplifies purpose… Purpose empowers our future
Where equity becomes policy
Where emerging technologies accelerate planetary responsibility
Where Love of Humanity drives sustainable impact. 

WE THINK CATALYTIC:
Where trust is the currency of transformation Where organizations thrive on happiness, authenticity, and innovation
Where governance is built on empathy and humility Where economics reflects Value for all stakeholders Where Catalyzers realize a New Harmony. 

WE CALL TO ACTION:
Rising Voices (Next Generation, Women, Marginalized) and human-centered leaders to radically collaborate to reinvent an inclusive and sustainable planet. 

WE EMPOWER US… on a journey to STRATEGIC HARMONY! 

www.EmPowerUs.world 

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Contact: — Ira@entwinedigital.com Velimir@velimirsrica.com 

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